QUEANBEYAN mountain bike rider Andy Blair says the disappointment of his recent World Marathon Championships campaign will spur him on to return to the international stage in 2013.
Blair finished 72nd at the World Champs held in France earlier this month where he was left to rue a midrace incident that cost him any hope of hitting is goal of a top-50 finish.
Amid confusion over the final layout of the Ornans course, the 32-year-old was part of a group of riders that took a wrong turn sending them off track.
“Taking a wrong turn is just ridiculous and something that shouldn’t happen at that level,” Blair acknowledged. “I take responsibility for it, everyone else was riding on the same course but there were a few circumstances that led to it happening.
“It was just one of those things. Races don’t always go to plan but they don’t always go that wrong either.
Heavy rain in the lead up to the event had seen organisers flag possible course changes the day before the race. In brutal conditions, Blair unknowingly chose an incorrect alternate route before being forced to backtrack.
Along with about 20 minutes in lost time, the mistake also saw the former four-time Australian cross-country representative miss his support crew leaving him without food or water for a large part of the five and half hour marathon.
“Under the circumstances I think I still had a pretty good ride,” Blair said. “If anything it makes me hungrier to go back next year and put it all together.
“A lot of things are obviously going to happen between now and then but if I have a good year next year I’ll hopefully be able to have another go at it.”
Last weekend meanwhile, Blair continued his strong domestic form in the Scott 24-Hour Race at Mount Stromlo helping his GU On The Go team claim the six-man team event.
Despite having returned from France just three days prior to the 24-hour endurance event, Blair showed no ill-effects from his hectic recent schedule.
The 32-year-old set the three fastest lap times in a class field that also included London Olympian Dan McConnell, junior world cross country champion Trent Lowe and former Sydney Olympian Sid Taberlay.
“It made up for World Champs a little bit,” Blair said of his Scott win. “I got the three fastest day laps and the fastest night lap as well which is pretty unusual for anyone to be able to do.
“It showed I’ve got some form at the moment. At Worlds I couldn’t make it count so it was good to make amends on the weekend.”
Blair’s next challenge is shaping up as the four-day Cape to Cape stage race in Western Australia which begins next Thursday. Blair is the defending champion in the event.